Disney Retheming Pirates of The Caribbean to Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain returning to Disney World, replacing Pirates of The Caribbean

Splash Mountain cannot stay out of the news. The ride continues to be in the spotlight ever since Disney announced they would retheme it to a Princess and The Frog ride. This stirred up a lot of discussions, angered many Disney fans, and even got the Florida government involved. Because of this Disney has decided to close Pirates of The Caribbean and retheme it to Splash Mountain.

Splash Mountain returning to Disney World, replacing Pirates of The Caribbean
Splash Mountain returning to Disney World, replacing Pirates of The Caribbean

There is brand new news surrounding the beloved Splash Mountain attraction at Disney World. This past week, Disney added scaffolding and signage around Tiana’s Bayou Adventure where Splash Mountain once existed. Disney is hard at work erasing the most popular attraction at Disney World. However, those who loved Splash Mountain can take a deep breath, because it’s coming back!

An announcement was just made that Splash Mountain will be returning to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. However, it will be returning in a new capacity. Unfortunately, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is still replacing Splash Mountain, but Splash Mountain will now be replacing the famous and less popular Pirates of The Caribbean attraction! Sadly, because of this, Disney is no longer selling the Splash Mountain props on eBay. It’s too bad, we almost bought the paddleboat.

Disney Selling Official Splash Mountain Props for $1,000,000
Disney is no longer selling official Splash Mountain Props on eBay

According to the official statement, “After lots of discussions, we have decided as a company to reintroduce Splash Mountain into The Magic Kingdom. Despite closing it only days ago, the ride will have a new home. Pirates of The Caribbean will be closing permanently and we will replace it with Splash Mountain.”

This announcement comes as a surprise and delight to many. Few people were expecting Disney to destroy one of their classic rides to replace it with a different classic ride that was just replaced with a new ride. What Disney is doing seems highly convoluted, however, it makes a lot of sense when you understand the background.

Why is Disney Replacing Pirates of The Caribbean with Splash Mountain?

Weeks before Disney closed Splash Mountain, the Florida government filed a lawsuit against Disney. It was their attempt at saving the much-loved ride. You can read our story on that here. Disney however proceeded to close Splash Mountain as planned. They made up their mind that Splash Mountain was going to be destroyed forever. However, only days later they retracted that decision.

disney vs state of florida over splash mountain retheme
Disney vs state of Florida over Splash Mountain retheme

We also know that the backlash towards Splash Mountain closing is the strongest Disney has seen in all their years of business. From the long lines to the social media posts, Disney found itself in hot water. They felt they were making progress by retheming Splash Mountain when in reality they were alienating their guests. On the day Splash Mountain closed, Disney finally saw the light and understood the damage they were doing.

After sitting on it for a few days, Disney decided to compromise. Their decision is to keep constructing Tiana’s Bayou Adventure as is. They won’t backtrack on that. However, at the same time, they decided to bring Splash Mountain back into their park by replacing a different and less popular ride. Disney feels this is a good compromise that will make almost everyone happy.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure construction continues. Splash Mountain gets new home
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure construction continues

Disney chose Pirates of The Caribbean for a few reasons. As we reported here, Disney already had plans of replacing Pirates of The Caribbean with a Jake and The Never Land Pirates Adventure ride. Fortunately, they never broke ground on this new ride. Instead, Disney is deciding to replace the ride with Splash Mountain.

Fans of Pirates of The Caribbean are not happy with the ride closing. However, this is a small price Disney is willing to pay. Disney ran many simulations around this change and ultimately determined that replacing Pirates with Splash Mountain was economically the best decision. It’s also the best decision to mitigate backlash and increase trust with their guests.

Pirates of The Caribbean closing and will be replaced with Splash Mountain
Pirates of The Caribbean is closing and will be replaced with Splash Mountain

There’s no timeline for when Splash Mountain will reopen at Disney World. Fortunately, Disney can start tearing down Pirates of The Caribbean and just move the Splash Mountain stuff over to that building, as they tear up the original ride. Given this, we expect the new and improved Splash Mountain to open a few months before Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. We are estimating a re-opening of Splash Mountain in early 2024.

What do you think of Splash Mountain replacing Pirates of The Caribbean? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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7 months ago

Awh 🙁